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way in all things and the family content themselves with
applauding from the front.
"We'll blister our hands every man of us, and carry you home in a
chariot and four see if we don't, you perverse prima donna!"
threatened Steve, not at all satisfied with the simplicity of the
"A chariot and two will be very acceptable as soon as I'm done. I
shall be quite steady till my part is all over, and then I may feel a
little upset, so I'd like to get away before the confusion begins.
Indeed, I don't mean to be perverse, but you are all so kind to me,
my heart is full whenever I think of it, and that wouldn't do if I'm
to sing," said Phebe, dropping one of the tears on the little frill she
"No diamond could have adorned it better," Archie thought as he
watched it shine there for a moment, and felt like shaking Steve
for daring to pat the dark head with an encouraging "All right. I'll
be on hand and whisk you away while the rest are splitting their
gloves. No fear of your breaking down. If you feel the least bit like
it, though, just look at me and I'll glare at you and shake my fist,
since kindness upsets you."
"I wish you would, because one of my ballads is rather touching
and I always want to cry when I sing it. The sight of you trying to
glare will make me want to laugh and that will steady me nicely,
so sit in front, please, ready to slip out when I come off the last
"Depend upon me!" And the little man departed, taking great
credit to himself for his influence over tall, handsome Phebe.
If he had known what was going on in the mind of the silent young
gentleman behind the newspaper, Steve would have been much
astonished, for Archie, though apparently engrossed by business,
was fathoms deep in love by this time. No one suspected this but
Rose, for he did his wooing with his eyes, and only Phebe knew
how eloquent they could be. He had discovered what the matter
was long ago had made many attempts to reason himself out of it,
but, finding it a hopeless task, had given up trying and let himself
drift deliciously. The knowledge that the family would not approve
only seemed to add ardor to his love and strength to his purpose,
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